Jan 19, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Businesswoman gets 2-year prison sentence over Trump lobbying scheme

The 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) logo is seen on a billboard at the funds flagship Tun Razak Exchange under-development site in Kuala Lumpur in 2015. Photo: Manan Vatsayana/AFP via Getty Images

An American businesswoman was sentenced to two years in prison Wednesday for illegally lobbying the former Trump administration to drop an investigation into a multibillion-dollar Malaysian embezzlement scheme and to return a dissident to China, per AP.

Driving the news: Nickie Mali Lum Davis pleaded guilty in 2020 to aiding and abetting the violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act following her failed lobbying campaign attempts that sought to persuade the Trump administration to drop the probe into Malaysian state fund 1MDB and fugitive businessman Jho Low in exchange for millions of dollars.

The big picture: The Hawaii-based consultant's case is related to the massive embezzlement scheme at 1MDB that resulted in former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak being convicted for corruption.

Zoom in: Lum Davis' attorneys told the court in Honolulu she was a "middle person" and she has agreed to repay $3 million, AP reports.

  • However, U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi said she hadn't shown remorse, having previously attempted to withdraw her guilty plea, and said she must report to the Bureau of Prisons on April 14, according to AP.

Flashback: Lum Davis' parents, Gene and Nora Lum, pleaded guilty in 1997 to an illegal campaign fundraising scheme that benefited Democrats, per Axios China newsletter author Bethany Allen-Ebrahimian.

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